It’s now been 33 days since the Yankees parted ways with Joe Girardi. That’s 33 days without a manager. For reference, it took the club 11 days to replace Joe Torre. Before that? Just six days separated Buck Showalter’s departure from Torre’s arrival. Who’s counting though?
As things stand, there’s no concrete time table on hiring a new manager. While other clubs operated with urgency during their managerial searches, the Yankees have proceeded at a rather deliberate pace. When asked about how long it would take to fill the vacancy, General Manager Brian Cashman responded with his usual brevity and candor:
Brian Cashman said it shouldn’t be a problem if they haven’t named a manager by the Winter Meetings.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) November 15, 2017
By Christmas, I asked? “Nope.”
By Spring Training? “Yep.”
That’s quite the range, isn’t it? Cashman essentially bought himself a nice chunk of time with that assessment. The process could drag on for nearly another month before it hits the problem zone.
So far the team has named five candidates who have interviewed for the position. The list includes Rob Thomson, Eric Wedge, Hensley Meulens, Aaron Boone, and Chris Woodward. According to Jim Bowden, this list isn’t exhaustive as the front office plans to interview more applicants. Reports even indicate that Carlos Beltran will interview for the position. They’re not whittling the list down; they’re adding to it. It seems like there’s no resolution in sight.
This prolonged search, however, isn’t necessarily a good thing. Sure, it allows the front office to conduct thorough interviews, and that’s important. At the same time, there comes a point when thoroughness becomes burdensome. I’m not only speaking for us observers, but the players as well. It’s not unreasonable to imagine that the roster wants to know for whom they will be playing next season.
A lengthy process also keeps other items at a standstill. To date, the managerial search has stood out as the Yankees’ most pressing offseason task. Before swinging a trade or signing a free agent, the club wants want to have a manager in place. While we can’t presume that a potential free agent would base his decision around a manager, having such an extended vacancy doesn’t project a good look. The sooner they hire a skipper the better.
There exists another reason that encourages an expedited process. The Yankees could begin to lose candidates. Yesterday Sweeny Murti reported that Thomson would interview for the bench coach position with the Phillies. The Bombers may have the only managerial job on the market, but other opportunities exist. If one of the candidates feels like there’s a sure thing waiting, they could jump on it. Stringing along the search means it will come with a notable rate of attrition.
At some point the Yankees will have to buckle down and hire a manager. They’ve let the process go for far too long. Other items need addressing. The front office can only take to the offseason with complete focus once a manager is in place. Until then, this vacancy is weighing down the team. The search needs to move with all necessary speed now.